Summer Knight Kennels | Bichon Frise Breeder | Bichon Frise Puppies

PRESERVING THE BICHON FRISE AS A BREED

Summer Knight Kennels | Bichon Frise Breeder | Bichon Frise Puppies


      The acute interests in preserving the breed shared by a handful of breeders working in the early decades of the 1900’s have kept the Bichon Frise as a definite breed. If it was not for this dedication it is questionable whether or not the Bichon Frise would have still existed.

      The docility and love for its master inherent in the Bichon Frise was never lost, even when it began to mate with other types of dogs. These traits, prized by any breed of dog, made the Bichon Frise particularly suited for a new role, in society after its “fall from grace” with royalty, as a Seeing Eye dog. The tiny Bichon delighted many with its antics when it served as canine clown in road shows, performing delightful tricks and routines for onlookers.

      The Bichon Tenerife (Bichon Frise) continued to captivate the hearts of those who came to know him. The irrepressible “I love you” spirit of the Bichon became as treasured by the working classes as it had formerly been adored by the nobility. The quality which was utilized by the new class of owners was and still is its abiding loyalty and affection. This lively little dog became a cherished companion and pet to the “average” man and woman.

      Sometime in the years following World War I conscientious breeders began to take an interest in this breed, and worked to improve it and fix its type. Where it had become a “commoners” dog, the Bichon was now looked at with high interest and a group of French breeders took on the task of restoring some of its former glory.

      By March of 1933 a standard had been written for the breed, and a year and a half later, October 1934, the Bichon found a place in the French Kennel Clubs stud book.

      Although the standard itself was concise and expressive, confusion as to which proper name to use for the dog still remained. Gradually, a consensus emerged that the dog being developed through breeding to the standard had little to do with the island of Tenerife. The president of the International Canine Federation herself came forth with the answer: retain the name Bichon but drop Tenerife. In the place of Tenerife, put Frise, the French word for “curly” or “frizzy.” Madame Nizet de Leeman’s solution won acceptance. In French speaking Belgium, the revived love affair with the Bichon also took firm hold. The International Canine Federation officially terms the Bichon Frise “a French-Belgian breed.”

      In 1956, Mr and Mrs Francois Picault immigrated to the United States bringing with them a pair of Bichons which had been whelped at the Steron Vor Kennels. These two dogs, a male named Eddie White de Steron Vor and a female named Etoile de Steron Vor, were mated. In 1958 a pup named Hermine de Hoop was sold to Mrs Azalea Gascoigne. Hermine was bred with Jou Jou de Hoop, a particularly noteworthy Bichon resulted in the litter, named Andre de Gascoigne.

      Andre was bred to Lady of Frimousettes one of the three (bitches) that Mrs Gascoigne had purchased in France in 1962. The result of one of the most outstanding stud dogs of the breed: Mexican Champion Dapper Dan De Gascoigne. “Dapper Dan” was to go on to make history in the breed, becoming one of the pillars of the Bichon Frise Breed in this country.

      Once such earnest breeding was happening, and more dedicated dog fanciers took to this charming “foreigner” the road to widespread acceptance was imminent. The lovely Bichon worked its way into the hearts of many dog lovers, and eventually became quite popular. In the 1980’s The Bichon ranked in the AKC (American Kennel Club) in the top third of the registration listing.



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